PCC rejects complaint against JC

April 18, 2008

A complaint against the Jewish Chronicle made by the Islamic Human Rights Commission has been rejected by the Press Complaints Commission.

The protest concerned a report of last October’s Al-Quds Day demonstration in London, which the IHRC supported with other organisations.

The JC reported a claim made by a Jewish blogger, writing as Edgar Davidson, that he had been subjected to cries of “Kill the Jews” while demonstrating against the rally.

The IHRC complained that the headline “Shouts of ‘Kill the Jews’ heard at pro-Palestine rally” breached the PCC’s code of practice.

The IHRC also argued that the report discriminated against Muslims and objected to its description of Al-Quds Day as an event launched by the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to “reassert the Muslim claim on Jerusalem”.

The London rally had been held to reflect on the Palestinian struggle for justice and the end of “Israeli apartheid”, the IHRC argued.

In its decision this week, the PCC said that it was “not in a position to determine definitively whether the chants had indeed been heard” at the march.

But it “was satisfied that, in the text, the claims that shouts of ‘Kill the Jews’ had been heard on the day had been clearly presented as an allegation.

“Readers would have been able to recognise that the claim had not been proven, something which was supported by the fact that the article stated that the police had received no complaints of abusive language”.

Taking into account the type of placards seen at the event — such as “Boycott Israel” — the PCC “decided that the newspaper’s interpretation of the aims behind the event would not have significantly misled readers in such a manner which would raise a breach of the code”.

The IHRC also disputed the numbers on the rally and a counter-demonstration cited in the article, but the PCC said that the newspaper had “clearly sought to emphasise that the figures were not definitive”.

Last updated: 5:09pm, May 13 2008